Upper Columbia River Contamination Proposed for Superfund Cleanup

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed adding the Upper Columbia River Site in northeastern Washington to the National Priorities List (NPL).  This designation would make the site eligible for cleanup financed under the federal Superfund Program.


Why is the EPA proposing this?


The EPA has determined that soils contaminated with lead and arsenic pose a significant health risk to residents, especially children, in at least 194 residential areas.  The primary source of this contamination is believed to be the Teck Metals Ltd. smelting facility located in Trail, British Columbia, upstream from the border.


The EPA is currently seeking public comment on the proposed listing.  The public comment period will run from March 7th to May 6th, 2024.  After considering public comments, the EPA will make a final decision on listing the site as early as September 2024.


To learn about current NPL updates and get involved visit: https://www.epa.gov/columbiariver/upper-columbia-river-study-area

Learn About Lead: https://www.epa.gov/lead

Updated Soil Lead Guidance for CERCLA Sites and RCRA Corrective Action Facilities: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/updated-soil-lead-guidance-cercla-sites-and-rcra-corrective-action-facilities

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Shaina Shay is an accomplished water professional with over a decade of experience in water policy, management, conservation, and community outreach. Her passion for pragmatic information sharing drives her work across the U.S. and Australia, where she has held roles with investor-owned utilities and as a senior water market specialist. Shaina's commitment to the field is reflected in her leadership positions within the American Water Works Association (AWWA), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the Southern Arizona Water Users Association (SAWUA).